Man claims $50k of P is salt

Last updated 16:04 29/11/2013

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A Singaporean man who tried to convince airport staff 50 grams of P in his luggage was salt has been jailed for more than four years.

Asharafudin Bin Mohd Ali was arrested by Customs officers at Auckland International Airport on August 5 after a search revealed a crystalline substance hidden in his luggage.

Despite claiming it was salt, tests revealed it was methamphetamine with a street value of up to $50,000.

It was wrapped in black insulation tape and hidden in the bottom of his bag.

Customs manager investigations Maurice O'Brien said stopping drugs crossing the border was a priority and officers carefully profiled people and goods looking for indicators.

Customs officers were alerted when Mohd Ali claimed that he was visiting New Zealand for a 10-day holiday but then suspiciously pleaded to be allowed in the country for two or three days. 

"The experience of our vigilant officers has again proven successful in stopping harmful drugs from getting into our communities," said O'Brien.

"Our people are alert and trained to identify suspicious behaviours."

On questioning, Mohd Ali admitted to having previously served a 10-year prison sentence in Singapore for drug trafficking.

He also stated that he had been a drug dealer in Singapore, purchasing larger quantities of amphetamine and breaking it into smaller quantities for re-sale.

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